Revitalize: Reigniting America's Economic Engine

Update on Nasdaq's Blueprint to Revitalize Markets

Nasdaq’s Commitment to Reforming U.S. Capital Markets

U.S. equities markets are a fundamental engine of innovation, economic growth and prosperity. Yet, despite the successes of U.S. markets, there is more that can be done to grow jobs, fuel the economy and create long-term wealth.

Since the launch of our blueprint in 2017, we have seen many positive developments within Congress, federal agencies and the business community at large, including:

  • The SEC's adoption of reforms to improve the transparency, accuracy and engagement of proxy voting advice
  • Changes by the SEC to the process for removing repetitive, unsuccessful proposals from proxies
  • Growing support from the business community to streamline and allow flexibility in quarterly reporting obligations for small and medium growth companies
  • The U.S. Treasury Department’s 2017 Report, "A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities - Capital Markets

Our equities markets are built on timeless, proven principles, but the markets of tomorrow require a new way of thinking.


Key Milestones Supported by Revitalize Initiative

Revitalizing the Markets: 3 Key Areas

Reform of Regulations

Overly complex regulations are disincentivising market participation. Efforts should be made to free up resources so that companies can focus on innovation, growth and job creation, rather than on red tape and unnecessary distractions. 

Nasdaq proposes regulatory solutions that will reform:

- The proxy proposal process to reduce the burden on companies;
- The corporate tax code and structure and;
- The problems of irresponsible litigation.

Modernization of Market Structure

A one-size-fits-all market structure deprives some companies of the benefits they need to participate and succeed in public markets. 

Nasdaq supports efforts to:

- Strengthen markets for smaller companies;
- Deploy intelligent minimum price movements for small and medium growth companies and;
- Cultivate innovative solutions that improve the trading of small and medium growth companies.

Long-Term View

A culture in the investment community and in the mainstream media has created an imbalance between the value of long-term return and short-term potentials. 

Nasdaq supports these changes:

- Increasing the flexibility of reporting obligations;
- Enhancing transparency around activist investing;
- Equalizing short interest transparency and;
- Supporting the dual class structure that is critical to attracting the most innovative and growing companies to participate in public markets.

Key Milestones
2013 - Present
to make the capital markets work better for our issuers and the broader community
SEC Adopts Proxy Advisory Firm Reform
Reforming the proxy advisory industry has been a key component of our blueprint to revitalize the U.S. equities markets.
Key Milestones
2013 - Present
to make the capital markets work better for our issuers and the broader community


Market Structure Reforms
We will keep pushing for reforms that help to improve the market experience for listed companies and market quality for their securities. We continue to support issuer choice in concentrating liquidity of smaller companies on one exchange and other solutions tailored to thinly-traded securities.
Nelson Griggs, President, Nasdaq Stock Exchange
Our April 2019 TotalMarkets initiative expands our Revitalize agenda to a serious and balanced debate focused on the market structure that supports trading of public companies. We examine the rules of yesterday and the markets of today, and chart proposals to make a path to better markets tomorrow.
News on Regulatory Reform

SEC Adopts Amendments Modernizing Shareholder Proposal Rule

The SEC voted to adopt amendments to its shareholder proposal rule, modernizing the process through which shareholders can submit a proposal to be included in a company’s proxy statement for consideration by all of its shareholders.


Nasdaq Emphasizes Transparency Risk to SEC’s Form 13F Proposal, Backed by Over 300 Companies

Nasdaq, with the support of 328 companies, submitted two comment letters to the SEC in response to its proposed amendments to update Form 13F reporting thresholds, emphasizing how the proposal puts transparency at risk for both issuers and investors.


SEC Amends and Modernizes Certain Disclosure Items of Regulation S-K

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted amendments to Regulation S-K to modernize certain required disclosure items.


SEC's Proxy Advice Reform Would Benefit Economy, Country

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recognizes the need to incentivize more companies going public and has proposed a series of reforms to revitalize markets.


SEC Amends Certain Financial Disclosure Requirements

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted amendments that modify certain financial disclosure requirements about acquisitions and dispositions of businesses.


SEC Scales Disclosure Requirements for Certain New and Smaller Issuers

On March 12, the SEC announced it has adopted amendments to the “accelerated filer” and “large accelerated filer” definitions in Exchange Act Rule 12b-2.


Nasdaq Comments on 2 SEC Proposals That Will Improve the Proxy Process

On February 3, 2020, Nasdaq submitted two comment letters supporting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) efforts to improve the proxy process.


SEC Proposes Amendments to Rules Governing Proxy Solicitations and Shareholder Proposals

The SEC held an open meeting and formally proposed amendments to improve the accuracy and transparency of proxy voting advice and modernize the shareholder proposal rule.


SEC Expands ‘Test-the-Waters’ Accommodation

The SEC has expanded its rules permitting companies to ‘test-the-waters,’ or gauge market interest, by reaching out to certain investors before a registered public offering.


Nasdaq Comments on Two SEC Proposals That Will Reduce Compliance Burdens for Public Companies

On July 29, 2019, Nasdaq submitted two comment letters commending the SEC for considering ways to reduce compliance burdens for public companies while maintaining important investor protections.


Advancing Nasdaq’s Revitalize Agenda

There has been progress around many issues outlined in our Revitalize blueprint to address the challenges facing the public markets.


SEC Proposes Expansion of "Test-the-Waters" Reform 

SEC rule would allow all companies to discuss their IPO plans privately with investors before deciding to go public.


U.S. Companies Demand Regulation of Proxy Advisors (Financial Times - subscription required)

Public companies have pressed the U.S. securities regulator for tighter oversight of proxy advisers.


Public Letter Following SEC Proxy Process Roundtable (Harvard Law School Forum on Corp. Governance & Financial Regulation) 

Nasdaq and other public companies urge the SEC to address the reform the proxy process.


Proxy Advisers Must Embrace Calls for Reform (Financial Times – subscription required) 

Services should submit themselves to some external oversight by the SEC


More Than 300 Companies Join Nasdaq in SEC Letter

Outlines proxy reform priorities


U.S. House Approves Financial Services Legislation Supported by Nasdaq's Revitalize Initiative

Nasdaq remains committed to working with Congress, the SEC and other constituents to move forward priorities that will help make the public markets more attractive.


Legislative Updates: Improving the Public Company Experience

Nasdaq Stock Exchange President Nelson Griggs shares Nasdaq and legislative developments toward improving the public company experience.


After U.S. Dodd-Frank Law Changes, Lobbyists Fight for More (Reuters) 

Some business groups hope lawmakers will move quickly to change other financial rules they say are hurting Main Street businesses


U.S. House of Representatives Passes Proxy Advisory Firm Reform Legislation

Nasdaq applauds the House’s passing of H.R. 4015, Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act.


Small Companies are Being Regulated Like Large Companies

Small companies being regulated the same way as large companies is "dampening the IPO market," Nasdaq Vice Chairman Bruce Aust told CNBC.

News on Modernization of Market Structure

Empowering Smaller Public Companies in the Capital Markets

Jeff Thomas, senior vice president and head of Western U.S. Listings and Capital Markets at Nasdaq, participated in a panel discussion at the SEC’s Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee meeting, during which he elaborated on the current trends for smaller companies.


Nasdaq’s Proposal to Improve Market Quality for Thinly-Traded, Small and Medium Sized Companies

On February 5, 2020, Nasdaq submitted a detailed application to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to empower Nasdaq-listed thinly-traded securities with the ability to focus their trading to a specific exchange venue to consolidate liquidity.


SEC Seeks Proposals to Enhance Trading for Thinly-Traded Securities

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is asking market participants to develop innovative proposals for changes in equity market structure that are designed to improve trading in thinly-traded securities.


Six Reforms for Greater Market Resilience (Law360/

Nasdaq's Edward Knight details six reforms that could make our markets more resilient and ensure our financial systems operate at their most efficient.


Nasdaq's Proposal to Improve Trading Environment in Small and Medium Growth Companies and Investors

Since the launch of our Revitalize initiative, Nasdaq has continued to advocate for reforms that help reignite America’s economic engine by reforms of market structure and the regulatory framework and reorienting to a long-term view.


A More Concentrated Market Would Help IPOs

It is in America’s best interest that its brightest, most innovative entrepreneurs seek public offerings rather than private exits.

News on the Promotion of a Long-Term View

Prioritizing Long-Term Growth Over Short-Term Returns

Nasdaq Stock Exchange President Nelson Griggs provides updates outlining the progress of Nasdaq’s efforts to revitalize the capital markets.


Commentary: Shining a Light on Shorts Will Improve Market Integrity, Investor Protection (Pensions & Investments)

Congress should enact sensible transparency requirements for short positions to address current gaps in the disclosure framework, root out market abuse and restore confidence in the integrity of our public markets.


Nasdaq CEO Discusses Benefit of Dual Class Structure

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman joins "Squawk Box" at the World Economic Forum at Davos to discuss IPOs in the pipeline.


Nasdaq Comment Letter to MSCI regarding Consultation on the Treatment of Unequal Voting

Nasdaq asks MSCI to reconsider its proposal.


The Long and Short of Unfair Trade Rules

Nasdaq's Edward Knight pens op-ed on the unfair trade rules for long and short sellers.


Nasdaq Sides with Snap on Voting Rights Debate

Nelson Griggs, head of global listings at the Nasdaq Stock Market, said Nasdaq supports companies that want to go public with a dual-class share structure.